Thank you to Barb Ewing, CEO, and Dr. Scott Shane, Entrepreneur in Residence, with the Youngstown Business Incubator for joining this week’s Monday call! We had the pleasure of meeting Barb during a recent AMCC roadshow visit to Ohio, and saw firsthand how YBI has situated itself as a key player in their region’s manufacturing ecosystem.
Ewing and Dr. Shane expanded on YBI’s efforts attracting new investors into their region to support start-ups and early stage technology and manufacturing firms. Dr Shane described three groups of players that all have different problems to overcome in order to consider investment into small manufacturers. Entrepreneurs can often lack connections to the avenues where capital flows. High Net Worth (HNW) individuals often find themselves disconnected from local investment opportunities that fail to garner the deal flow necessary to achieve the desired scale. And large funds are often disinclined to consider minor investment rounds and distant small-scale companies when they are managing a diverse portfolio.
Recognizing these challenges, Dr. Shane created the Comeback Capital Fund, a strategic response investing in high-potential companies located outside traditional VC hubs. The fund operates through two tiers, one tailored for Ohio-based companies and the other spanning the entire United States, both functioning within the venture capital model. The fund’s synergy with YBI is evident through their co-hosted Tech Evolution Virtual Pitch Event. This platform provides a stage for 7-8 startups per session to present their ideas to venture capitalists and business angels. This collaboration recognizes the imperative of early-stage capital infusion and equity distribution for burgeoning manufacturing companies.
We look forward to working further with YBI and Dr. Shane further to understand how other regions may take advantage of this model.